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CMS Finalizes Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Rule for Medicaid and CHIP

Tuesday, March 29, 2016  
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On March 29, 2016, in conjunction with the President’s visit to the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a finalized a rule to strengthen access to mental health and substance use services for people with Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, aligning with protections already required of private health plans. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 generally requires that health insurance plans treat mental health and substance use disorder benefits on equal footing as medical and surgical benefits.


“The Affordable Care Act provided one of the largest expansions of mental health and substance use disorder coverage in a generation,” HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said. “Today’s rule eliminates a barrier to coverage for the millions of Americans who for too long faced a system that treated behavioral health as an unequal priority. It represents a critical step in our effort to ensure that everyone has access to the care they need. This rule will also increase access to evidence-based treatment to help more people get the help they need for their recovery and is critical in our comprehensive approach to addressing the serious opioid epidemic facing our nation.”

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Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 

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